Thu | Dec 7, 2023

New deep-sea worm named after T&T scientist

Published:Friday | March 24, 2023 | 12:31 AM


A new species of deep-sea worm that can live in environments on the ocean floor that are either extremely hot or very cold has been named after a marine scientist from Trinidad and Tobago.

Behold the Judiworm, whose official name is Lamellibrachia judigobini.

“This must surely be a crowning point of my extensive marine career,” Judith Gobin, a marine ecologist and a professor at The University of the West Indies, said in a statement Wednesday.

The name is meant to honour Gobin for her discoveries and efforts to protect marine life in the region, according to Magdalena Georgieva of the Natural History Museum in London.

The University of the West Indies said in a statement that the new species was collected during exploratory missions from 2012 to 2014.

The worm lives near hydrothermal vents and cold seeps across the Gulf of Mexico and around Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago at depths up to more than 10,800 feet (3,300 metres). The vents can reach temperatures of more than 700 degrees Fahrenheit (370 degrees Celsius), while cold seeps are only slightly warmer than the surrounding water in the deep sea, which is nearly freezing.